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Opinions of Monday, 22 August 2022

Columnist: Joel Savage

The Tema Harbour has become a centre of corruption discouraging investors

File photo: Tema Harbour File photo: Tema Harbour

We can no longer continue to criticize the president in light of Ghana's crumbling economy, depreciating currency, high unemployment rate, rampant crime, and severe corruption. Instead, all Ghanaians and members of all political parties must unite to find the best solutions to assist the current president in bettering the lives of the common people who are most negatively impacted.

However, we want to know how prepared the current government is to alter matters affecting the people in the country before Ghanaians and those in the Diaspora who truly care about our country decide to help in any manner to help? How ready is the government to develop more effective and welcoming marketing possibilities to attract investments?

Since Akufo Addo became president, I have written a lot, offering suggestions for how to improve Ghana’s economy. Attacks, insults, and slurs from tribes and people, who vehemently despise this writer are my reward. I don't give a damn if people hate me, now that the truth has finally come to light and everything I predicted has come to pass.

It's time for all Ghanaians, regardless of where they are from in the country or whether they live within or outside, to unite on a common basis to find solutions for our beloved country because the damage has already been done. I will offer some suggestions for policies that, if seriously pursued by the government, could lessen people's suffering.

I have no problem in stating that Akufo Addo is a difficult individual who never pays attention to counsel. He likes to do things his way, which frequently has disastrous effects on the common people. Unfortunately, the president has never cared about the plight of the people.

A serious president should occasionally listen to the voice of the people since they feel it most strongly to convey their thoughts and feelings. He has been waiting so long, and now that everything is out of his control, he appears sober.

An economy that has grown in both exports and imports is considered to be healthy. This often denotes a strong economy and a consistent trade surplus, either positive or negative. If exports are increasing while imports are sharply falling, this can mean that overseas economies are doing better than local ones. On the other hand, if imports are increasing while exports are substantially down, it can mean that home markets are performing better than those abroad.

However, the collapse of Ghana's economy and the depreciation of its currency has led to catastrophic inflation or hyperinflation. When the government is broke, the economy collapses. This is the first indication of a crash when the money runs out and an economic downturn sets in. However, the depression just grows worse as it lasts longer and longer. Real economic collapse is now underway, and things could get much worse very fast.

Typically, civil upheaval starts, then poverty levels rise as a result of the unrest. The end result is typically a large mess and a lot of dissatisfied people. You might be surprised to learn that the president himself has blocked all those channels as a result of his own policies, which he initiated in order to further his own interests. This, if he is not a selfish and lawless individual, would have benefited the people.

There are a number of solutions that can be implemented to improve a collapsed economy, and depressed currency, and to create a friendly market that could invite investments. Many African leaders are unaware that the decisions they make to only benefit themselves may lead to their own demise.

The corruptible challenges Akufo Addo made for himself and failed to address, led to the loss of investors' trust

1. Many Ghanaians, both at home and in the Diaspora, are hesitant and fearful to invest since they have observed that nothing benefits foreign investors in the nation. Akufo Addo's administration did nothing when people cried out for their locked-up money after "Menzgold" fell. The CEO Nana Appiah Mensah, who ought to be in prison, is currently free and enjoying himself without consequences.

2. Ghanaians are now aware that the NPP government spent more money to destroy banking institutions in the country, than what was required to save them. The president’s relative, Ken Ofori-Atta’s bank, is still operating and doing well, nonetheless.

3. Nana Akufo Addo appointed media who backed his crimes and corruption as well as justices at the Supreme Court who dismiss every case brought against the NPP government in order to allow the NPP government to profit from unlawful actions without being held accountable. Knowing that they can never succeed when something bad happens to their firm demoralized investors as well.

4. The president was aware of what was happening in the harbors, where corruption had escalated by almost 300%, but he never bothered to address the problems because they were to his advantage. I exposed this in an article titled "The Lamentation Of Ken Agyapong Reveals Akufo Addo Is Behind The Corruption At The Ports" published on December 26, 2021.

Agyapong disclosed in that article that he visited the Ghana Revenue Authority because the government had instructed them to collect 39 billion annually. (I couldn't tell if he meant 39 billion dollars or Ghana Cedis.) Even if they received the order, they are not required to increase pricing with their CTN. Agyapong's remark indicates the port's involvement in widespread corruption.

5. Who in their right mind, whether in Ghana or the Diaspora, would want to invest in Ghana? Ghanaians have now learned that NPP government officials at the ports permit some businessmen connected to the government to clear their imported goods at the ports without having to pay any customs duty on them, while the same government seizes goods from other businessmen who cannot afford to pay the high duties levied on the goods.

6. Imagine a person who wants to start a small business in Ghana buys a small van for roughly 4,000 euros, but when the van gets to Ghana, the duty is considerably higher or nearly as much as the purchase price. And if the owner was unable to clear the vehicle because of the hefty customs charge, the government would take possession of it and sell it at a discount at an auction, where the same NPP politicians and their relatives would then buy them at cheap prices.

All of these issues, which Akufo Addo has refused to address since doing so, would not benefit him and his administration, are a factor in the demise of Ghana's economy and currency. So, if I'm a concerned Ghanaian today and want to motivate others to support their government, how can we do so if he hasn't done the proper things to stimulate the economy?

The only way to get Ghana's economy moving again is for Akufo Addo to tear down the corruption barriers he has built to protect himself and his government, which, of course, is the reason he has failed as a leader. No amount of money from the International Monetary Fund can help Ghana's economy get back on track. Is he ready to carry out the task when he can't even remove his relative, the finance minister, from his position?

I don't know how Akufo Addo will handle the situation if he stands in front of Ghanaians today and declares, "I'm fully aware these are very difficult times for us in Ghana," when he is unwilling to remove the corrupt obstacles he has put in place that are in his favor, such as his refusal to reshuffle his cabinet and remove Ken Ofori-Atta from his position.

I don't feel sorry for Akufo Addo because, despite what Ghanaians are going through, his evil heart would keep him from acting morally to protect his corrupt business dealings from being exposed.